Since the beginning of the #MeToo movement, tens of thousands of women and girls in South Korea have taken to the street, and many more brave individuals took a stand, to end a decades-long abortion ban and bring down powerful sexual abusers-including a popular presidential contender. South Korean feminists know that the revolution has been a long time coming, between battles against its own deeply patriarchal society as well as combating stereotypes of docile Asian women in the Western imagination.
Now, author Hawon Jung will show the rest of the world that these women are no delicate flowers-they are trailblazing flames. Flowers of Fire takes the reader into the trenches of this fight for equality, following along as South Korean activists march on the streets, navigate public and private spaces full of spycams, and share tips and tricks with each other as they learn how to protect themselves from criminals and authorities alike.
Jung, the former Seoul correspondent for the AFP, draws on her on-the-ground reporting and interviews with many women who became activists and leaders, from the elite prosecutor who ignited the country's #MeToo movement to the young women who led the war against non-consensual photography and revenge porn. Their stories, though long overlooked in the West, mirror realities that women across the world are all too familiar with: threats of defamation lawsuits to silence victims of assault, tech-based sexual abuse of women and girls, and criminal justice systems where victims' voices are often met with suspicion and predators' downfalls are met with sympathy. These are the issues at the heart of their #MeToo movement, and South Korean women have fought against them vigorously-and with extraordinary success. In Flowers of Fire, Jung illuminates the strength and tenacity of these women, too often sidelined in global conversations about feminism and gender equality.